Sport | Other Sports

Boxing champ Laila Ali to fight in Dubai

Daughter of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali will defend her flawless record

  • By Alaric Gomes, Senior Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 November 11, 2009
  • Gulf News

Dubai: Women's world boxing champion Laila Ali will fight in Dubai next year.

Eric Rafiq, President and CEO of the Xtreme Kombat League (XKL), who will be bringing in the daughter of the legendary Muhammad Ali here, has promised "the best of everything" when Laila Ali actually gets here.

"Laila will be in Dubai to defend her flawless record of 24 wins and zero losses in 2010," Rafiq told Gulf News during a recent visit here.

"And we have a very positive affirmation that her father Muhammad Ali will also make it to Dubai," confirmed Viju Jacob, vice-president, marketing, Middle East for XKL.

"He has never missed a single fight involving her. They have said Muhammad Ali will be here 99 per cent," Jacob added.

Top authorities in Dubai have shown a keen interest in staging a fight involving one of the best women boxers of all time. The venue in Dubai is yet to be named and organisers XKL prefer keeping quiet on the opponent as well.

"We are in the process of getting a suitable challenger and will reveal details of the fight at a later date," Rafiq stated.

In all likelihood, the first-ever appearance of Laila Ali in Dubai will follow the launch of XKL's Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) title fights scheduled during the Dubai Shopping Festival 2010.

"With aggressive expansion plans, XKL's marketing exposure is set for the world stage and audiences will be able to follow all the play by play action of the title match," Rafiq stated.

"The XKL team prides itself in being able to provide emerging trends in popular combat sport and these two events are just an indicator of what is to follow," Rafiq affirmed.

As per plans, the night will feature three preliminary fights followed by the main fight involving Laila Ali.

Laila Ali has a degree in business from Santa Monica College and previously owned a balloon and Halloween mask shop in California before becoming a boxer. Standing at 1.78mts with a reach of 70.4 inches, Laila Ali is by far the most famous of Muhammad Ali's children. "Our commitment is to stage a truly world-class event that sets a new standard for the industry," Rafiq stated.

Fact file

Name: Laila Ali

Nickname: Lay Lay

Rated at: Super Middleweight

Height: 1.78 metres

Reach: 1.79 metres

Date of birth: December 30, 1977

Birth place: Miami, Florida

Stance: Orthodox

Total fights: 24

Wins: 24

Wins by KO: 21

Losses: 0

Draws: 0

No contests: 0

Gulf News